Fania's prestigious "Man & His Music" series has already paid tribute to two of the three major musical figures of the pre-salsa era known as "The Big 3': Tito Puente and Tito Rodríguez. A third bandleader was missing - one of Latin music's most underrated artists and the man who Tito Puente himself called "el maestro." Now, with the release of the two-CD set "El Padrino", it's time to rediscover the music of Francisco Raúl Gutiérrez Grillo, the incomparable Machito.
Raised in Havana with his sister, powerhouse vocalista Graciela, Machito moved to New York and gained fame at the Palladium night club performing a stunning array of sinuous cha cha chas, electrifying mambos and torrid boleros. In later decades, he ventured into bossa nova, Latin soul and straight-ahead salsa. And unlike the majority of tropical vocalists, Machito sang both coros and inspiraciones, verses and choruses within the same tune.Known for his bonhomie and infectious sense of humor, Machito left behind dozens of excellent albums. His output for the Tico label during the '50s and '60s was particularly prolific. The 44 tracks on these two CDs include such memorable Afro-Caribbean nuggets as "Yo Soy La Rumba," "Azulito," the Cuban classic "Guantanamera," as well as the sexually daring "Sí Sí, No No," a major hit in New York thanks to Graciela's provocative vocalizing.
"El Padrino", from the prestigious Man & His Music series, will be available for purchase on both CD and digital download on April 5th, 2011.